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[climate change] The first thing you need to know about adaptation!

Over the weekend, the IPCC's sixth assessment report on climate change was released after an eight-year absence, and I think that's why there's a bit of a buzz about it. Working Group 1 is about the mechanisms that cause climate change and the projections for the future. After the working group's projections, we need to do how to respond to possible future climate change. This is what is commonly referred to as adaptation. Not so long ago, a report was published by Germany on how to adapt to climate change in Indonesia. The first part of the report is about the way we have been thinking about climate change. This part is a basic description of the adaptation measures that you need to read to the end of this report. Still, it is also beneficial information to understand how other countries are applying climate change.

I can't summarise everything, but I will say a few things that the report highlighted. I first became involved in adaptation nearly 17 years ago. At that time, climate change was about mitigation, about reducing greenhouse gases. From that point on, there was a lot of discussion about dealing with climate change in a world where it was unstoppable. This is what is commonly referred to as adaptation. Adaptation started by looking at the sectors affected by climate change and the societies and environments that would be harmed by it, and thinking about where to respond. This led to creating the National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPA), which were based on past examples. NAPs (national adaptation plans) have been developed to take this one step further in recent years. The difference between NAPA and NAP is not only in the scale of the transition from programme to plan but also that NAPA only considers past cases, whereas NAP also considers future projections. So there's more time to think about it in NAP. In addition, while NAPA allowed us to make choices on a sector-by-sector basis, such as which sectors would be affected, planning requires us to consider the efficiency of our inputs, and the impact of our activities in one sector on other sectors.

Correspondingly, the NAP should also use the term "adaptive government". This is because there is a need for communication between local, national and even more extensive government scales. For example, prioritising water resources for agriculture in areas where water is scarce may reduce the amount of water available for industry and slow down industrialisation. Taking money out of education to fund adaptation measures may reduce the number of people who can cope with climate change in the future. It is also challenging to have a top-down approach to collecting information and working on adaptation measures when considering the impacts of climate change as a country because adaptation measures have different implications in different regions. For example, in Switzerland you don't have to worry about sea-level rise, in Bali you don't have to worry about avalanches. With mitigation measures that reduce greenhouse gases, we can look at how much is the reduction and how much money we can reduce the same amount of gas as carbon dioxide. And you can look at the impact of each mitigation measure anywhere in the world. Adaptation measures don't always have the same effect on what people care about, whether it's human lives, ecosystems or economic activity. Therefore, it is necessary to create indices or metrics based on multiple factors rather than examining the effects of a single unit, as this report also states.

The second half of the report summarises reports and policies developed in Indonesia, including the national plan for adaptation (RAN-API) that I involved in developing when I was a JICA expert ;-).

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